Among the featured authors is Jonathan Storment, the pulpit minister for the Highlands congregation in Abilene, who blogs at Part of a Restoration Movement.
I’ve never met Jonathan, that I can recall, but I’ve been reading some of his material — and the guy can flat out write.
Recently, he posted on Cessationism, the theory that miracles ended in the apostolic age. Read the whole post, “Strange Fire and Churches of Christ”, but here are a few samples (lightly edited) —
But I believe I’ve heard the voice of God, and I’ve prayed for people who I believe have been healed, and several who haven’t. But I didn’t always think this way.
The problem for me started about 9 years ago, when I went to Sri Lanka to do Tsunami relief. We were with a small gathering of Christians there, and a blind woman came up to get prayed for, and God opened her eyes.
I’ve got a bachelors and a graduate degree in Bible, and I immediately said to myself, “I know seven reasons why that can’t happen.”
But as I started to think about it, I realized that the reasons I knew that this couldn’t happen had nothing to do with the Bible. It had everything to do with the philosophy and ideology I was reading the Bible through.
The problem was I had been using the Bible, to be right, to make a living. I was standing on it, but the Bible is telling about a world that we are supposed to inhabit.
And in that world anything can happen.
Because God is in it. …
I was talking to an Anglican priest friend last week about this, and his answer was so good I think it might be helpful here.
He said something like, the main problem really isn’t what we think it is. The real problem is that we’ve lost our imagination.
There is a fundamental difference between a Catholic Christian’s imagination and a Protestant Christian’s imagination. In Catholicism, the whole world in enchanted, God is closer than we are to ourselves, and the entire Creation is dripping with the Glory of God.
So back to us Protestants, both the Charismatics and the Cessationists are basically talking with the same limited imagination. We believe that either God punches a whole in the roof of the world and tinkers in from time to time in order to heal our Aunt’s cancer or give me a better parking space … or we believe that He doesn’t do that.
But both are operating from a posture that fundamentally believes God is somewhere else.
This is why we use language like, “And then God showed up.” As if there are places in the world where God wasn’t!
And don’t think for a second I’m trying to ignore the Bible. I’m just trying to start reading it better. Think about how the Psalms talk about Creation, the mountains clap for joy, and the rivers sing!
According to the Bible the whole earth is enchanted! …
Am I a Charismatic or a Cessationist? Neither. Because I think both of those stories are too small to contain God.
I believe Aslan is on the move.
The Fire of God is real, the world is ablaze with it.
And when Christians are unable to see that, I think that’s strange.
You will also enjoy Jonathan’s “God is For Love: A Better Conversation for Homosexuality & the Church.”